[The Fountain] How to make Sero, the zebra, happy

Home > National >

print dictionary print

[The Fountain] How to make Sero, the zebra, happy

The author is head of the JoongAng Ilbo Innovation Lab.

Zebras live in groups on the African continent. Unlike horses and donkeys, they were not domesticated. That’s why it was hard to believe a zebra striding in the city center. On March 23, a zebra named “Sero” was caught about three hours after escaping from Seoul Children’s Grand Park.

The cases of animals escaping from zoos are steadily reported in Korea and other countries. Six elephants escaped from the Children’s Grand Park in 2005 and walked around the city for about four hours. In 2010, a Malay bear, “Kid,” fled from Seoul Grand Park in Gwacheon to Mt. Cheonggye and was captured after nine days. In 2018, a puma named “Porongi” from Daejeon O-World was killed after a large-scale search using a helicopter.

Ken, an orangutan from the San Diego Zoo in the United States, is one of the most notable stories. Ken has escaped from the zoo three times since 1985, and upon escaping, he walked around and looked at other animals as if he were a visitor.

In the first place, zoos were not facilities for animals. It had been a hobby for royal families and aristocrats to collect and display exotic animals.

World’s oldest zoo is Schönbrunn Zoo in Austria, which the Habsburg family founded in 1752. Capturing animals from all over the world and bringing them into their own countries was a means of showing off imperial power.

As zoos have collections of various species, they serve as a cradle of scientific research and a place for education. Today, zoos also contribute to protecting and restoring endangered species and protecting biodiversity.

As awareness of animal welfare increases, the zoo environment is evolving in the form of recreating natural habitats. In Korea, however, even public zoos use prison-like display halls that have already become obsolete in major developed countries in the mid-20th century.

According to the Ministry of Environment’s survey of 110 public and private zoos in Korea in 2019, they got an average review of “poor” in all categories, including animal welfare, public health, safety, habitat environment and biological conditions.

Private hands-on zoos are worse. The Act on the Management of Zoos and Aquariums was enacted only in 2016. The vision of “the First Comprehensive Zoo Management Plan (2021-2025)” established under this law is building “zoos where both people and animals are happy.” Seoul Children’s Grand Park explains that Sero became a rebel after losing all his family. I am looking forward to the day when the zoo environment will improve, and Sero will be happy.
Log in to Twitter or Facebook account to connect
with the Korea JoongAng Daily
help-image Social comment?
lock icon

To write comments, please log in to one of the accounts.

Standards Board Policy (0/250자)